National Science Challenges

The National Science Challenges are designed to take a more strategic approach to the government's science investment by targeting a series of goals, which, if achieved, would have major and enduring benefits for New Zealand.

[image] Gradient line 1170px

The 11 National Science Challenges focus science investment on issues that matter to all New Zealanders. The National Science Challenges are cross-disciplinary, scientist-led programmes designed to tackle the biggest science-based challenges New Zealand has. They provide an opportunity for collaboration between researchers from universities and other academic institutions, Crown Research Institutes, businesses and non-government organisations to create sustainable and long-term research plans and activities.


The Challenges have funding available over 10 years, and have been designed to complement other shorter-term science investments in New Zealand.

Each Challenge includes both new funding and funds that will become available as current MBIE research contracts mature.

Relevant Crown research institute (CRI) core funding will also be invested where CRIs are part of a Challenge collaboration.

The new Challenge money comprises $133.5 million over four years allocated in Budgets 2012 and 2013, and continuing funding of $30.5 million per year thereafter. Aligned CRI core funding of up to $643 million and Health Research Council funding of up to $277 million may also contribute to delivery of the Challenges.

Independent assessment panels

Initial proposals for the National Science Challenges received by MBIE were assessed against the criteria in the New Zealand Gazette by independent assessment panels.

Read more ...

Key documents

Read more ...

About the National Science Challenges

Read more ...